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 Cost Evaluation for
 Arsenic Control Technologies



This project’s objective was to develop a manual that can be used for determining cost estimates for using activated alumina and ion exchange in the removal of arsenic from drinking water.


This project was conducted to answer question #4.2.2. of the Office Research and Development’s Research Plan for Arsenic in Drinking Water: Are there cost-effective technologies for small systems?

The revised arsenic Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) poses special problems for small systems because the available technologies may be too costly for the small systems to implement. Two technologies that are frequently considered by small systems are activated alumina adsorption and ion exchange. Consequently, cost information on each of these two technologies is needed to assist small systems in making decisions on the most cost-effective technology for meeting the revised MCL.

A cost manual was developed to enable small systems to develop comparative cost data on the activated alumina and ion exchange processes. The manual presents conceptual design flow sheets, design components, and a description of the costing methodology to compare capital and operational costs for the treatment processes. The manual also provides examples for the application of the costing methodology to determine the capital and operating costs for different treatment designs. A user-friendly computer program was also developed.

Project Status

The cost manual and user-friendly computer program have been completed:

  • December 2000: Cost manual received and undergoing review
  • June 2001:  Review and revisions of cost manual
  • March 2002:  Cost evaluation computer program update



Date Research Started

September 1999

Completion Date

March 2002

Date of Last Update



Tom Sorg

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